Today on Bonus Day, I want you to meet a very special lady.
Msonde is 82-years-old; she had her first child in 1958. With the delivery of that baby, she developed an obstetric fistula that left her chronically incontinent. With access to high quality, emergency maternal healthcare, it is likely that this debilitating disability could have been prevented. With knowledge about her condition, Msonde could have received treatment to correct her fistula.
The tragedy is Msonde lived with fistula for over 60 years.
“I managed to live with fistula for such a long time because of my husband’s support,” she says. “He ignored our family and our community when they used to stigmatize me. He was an exceptional husband. He never stigmatized me as others did. He always stood by my side. I remember he used to quarrel with his relatives because of me, God rest him in peace.”
Msonde and her husband went on to have a total of five children, which she delivered in spite of her fistula, but there were still many trials. Most of the time, Msonde avoided community gatherings, and avoided drinking water because of her chronic incontinence, especially on days when she was supposed to attend church.
This year, Msonde’s niece who lives in Dar es Salaam came to her village as a CCBRT ambassador. She explained what fistula was, and shared that treatment was available and free of charge. Msonde could barely believe it, but she traveled over 700 miles to Dar es Salaam to be evaluated for treatment.
“When I arrived at CCBRT, I could not believe it was possible, but I found many women undergoing fistula treatment.”
Now sitting in recovery in the CCBRT Fistula Ward after a successful surgery, she raises her hands in prayer for her husband. “I wish my husband could have been alive. We are now old, but he could have been able to see me walking freely.”
Today, your donation will be matched 50% by our friends at GlobalGiving until midnight or the matching funds run out. That means that we can reach more women like Msonde with the high quality maternal healthcare, life-changing surgical and rehabilitative care and stigma-busting information they need.
No woman should live with preventable, treatable fistula for 60 years, or even 6 months. Our vision is a Tanzania without fistula, where every woman can walk freely and in the fullness of her potential. Please consider giving today before matching funds expire.
Thank you for your support.